Everyone knows how to roast a chicken but I’ve got a method that takes it up to three notches. First up, finely chop the herbs, use some marjoram, parsley, basil, seasoned with salt and pepper. Add a nice couple of lugs of olive oil then mix that up. The oil will help bring out all the natural flavors and oils from the herbs and we are going to get our chicken. If you can get a dry plucked chicken the skin is so crispy and it’s delicious. Just run your knife around the top of the legs and score that skin and then just pop that little ball joint. Take the end of the chicken leg off and when it cooks and roasts it just looks beautiful. Put the chicken on its side so that the thigh meat can cook at the same rate and speed as the breast meat. Simply do three slices down to the bona and it also allows the flavourer oil to get in.
With the breast, hold the end of the skin and pull it towards you so you don’t tear it and just get your fingers between the skin and the breast. Make a little pouch and then use a spatula to get right down there. Divide your herbs by half and again, slowly without tearing the skin, insert the herbs all around the skin of the chicken. Take slices of butter and ram them down the chicken breasts, that’s going to make your chicken breast juicier than ever. It’s also going to make the skin crispier. Get a cold lemon in the chicken and the hot air is going to get it and it’s going to be kind of cooking. To tie that bird up, take a little bit of butchers strings, get it in half, put it just under the legs then take it up to the little notches then do a little knot.
Tighten it up, go between the breast and the legs, turn it over and do another little knot and it’s going to keep that in shape. Rub the chicken with the remaining herbs and oil. Place the chicken into the tray then a whole bulb of garlic, two onions, cut those in half. Cook the chicken in a 225 degrees oven for one hour. The chicken skin will be crispy with the herbs trapped really, really nice. Run your knife around the back of the chicken legs and just click it and it will just fall apart. Cut it across giving it that beautiful drumstick and the wonderful thigh meat. When it comes to the breast, cut it and you can see the herbs underneath the gorgeous, crispy golden skin. Arrange your chicken pieces on a plate and pour some gravy over the chicken.
- 2 bunches of fresh soft herbs
- 1 lemon
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- whole chicken
- olive oil
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- Preheat the oven and a roasting tray to 220ºC/425ºF.
- Pick and finely chop the soft herbs, halve the lemon and tear the bay leaves.
- Rub inside the chicken cavity with sea salt, then carefully grab the skin at the tip of the chicken breasts, making sure that it doesn’t rip, and pull up gently.
- With your other hand gently separate the skin from the meat of the breast – it’s normally connected by a little bit of tissuey-type stuff.
- You can either leave this attached in the middle and make two little tunnels either side or you can try to cut away the middle.
- Sprinkle a little salt down the gaps that you have made, push in most of the chopped herbs and drizzle in a little oil.
- Push the lemon halves into the cavity along with the bay and rosemary sprigs
- Pull the skin of the chicken breast forward so that none of the flesh is exposed, tuck the little winglets under and tie up as firmly as possible.
- Rub a little oil all over the chicken skin, scatter over the remaining chopped herbs and season very generously with salt and black pepper.
- Slash each thigh about 3 or 4 times to allow the heat to penetrate directly.
- Remove the hot tray from the oven and drizzle with a little oil.
- Put the chicken into the tray, breast-side down and leaning to one side, then place in the oven.
- Roast for 5 minutes, then lean it to the other side, still breast-side down.
- Cook for another 5 minutes, then place the chicken on its bottom and cook for 1 further hour, or until golden and cooked through – the skin should be really crispy and the herbs will flavor the meat– this really must be the best roast chicken.